Top positive review
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SO MUCH IS SO GOOD
on 31 October 2010
Many reasons to rejoice. Superb scripts. Much inspired casting. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford terrific as Matt and Danny, hastily brought in to revitalize the studio's weekly live satirical show. Once a flagship winner, it has been brought to its knees by the demands of blinkered network executives, advertisers, religious bigots, political extremists. Away with pap - back with teeth and claws, fearlessly mocking and provoking discussion!
The series has everything. Much to amuse (as when in Nevada, guest star John Goodman hilarious as the sheriff). Much to move (as with the Christmas tribute to stricken New Orleans; then that reminder of dark days with so many blacklisted - a heartrending performance by guest Eli Wallach). Much to excite and uplift (as with the four episodes finale - a time of crisis and desperate measures with lives in danger).
"Studio 60" works better on DVD - especially with all the flashbacks to when Matt and Danny previously worked there. These confused a bit when originally shown on television with advertisements intervening. Not everything is perfect. Sarah Paulson no doubt shines elsewhere but seems miscast as Harriet - the love of Matt's life, but without the charisma needed to indicate why. The character is also meant to be funny, surely not such an irritant?
That reservation aside, five stars are still awarded - recognition of the writing and acting that throughout exhilarate. So often it makes the viewer sit up and take note. For example, that hefty fine threatened for an expletive on air. This was not in the comedy show but in a live newscast, the war reporter narrowly missed by a rocket. Censorship gone mad and needing to be challenged.
We need shows that keep us alert and increase our awareness. They may not win ratings but certainly earn respect. Recommended to all who enjoy a series that truly stimulates.